Synopsis by Mark Deming
Man's relentless advance into the natural landscape is viewed with a poetic eye in this "experimental documentary" from filmmaker Robert Persons. General Orders No. 9 was shot in a territory that follows the Mississippi River through Alabama and Mississippi into Georgia, and charts the slow, inexorable transformation from a wilderness into its current state as settlers arrive, the land is mapped and charted, the territory becomes a town, towns grow into cities, and the once-untouched earth is changed forever. The film incorporates vintage photographs and film footage, original maps, plans for buildings, and other similar images along with new material to create a striking portrait of what was gained and what was lost over the course of two centuries in the American South. The first feature film from Robert Persons, General Orders No. 9 was an official selection at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival, where it received a special award for cinematography.
civilization, development, geography, history, landscape